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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Birth of a Living Ancestor. A story I started some years ago as my middle son came of age to play 40K and in his surfing found Heresy. Anfo was his handle, and he wrote quite a bit here, and I think acquitted himself well. Cutting his teeth on Epic 40k, I let him bring out the Chaos army I had against the Orks. It didn't take long for him to find Heresy and get into the gaming and round robin writing found here. From there it was a short trip to modern 40K, and when 8th(?) edition came out, I bought the collector's edition for him.

As for me, returning and getting ready to field my 40k Squat army - we only played Epic since it was cheaper back in the late eighties/early nineties - was something I was all set for. The rest is history cuz by that time the Squats had been dead for a decade or so. In my time fugued anger, I started Birth of a Living Ancestor and then because Anfo and I had read the Dawn of War trilogy, copied the off-the-reservation style of the last book. I was going to change everything. What a laugh.

As BofLA spiraled out of control, and I disliked the sound and direction more and more, I found I couldn't continue and was unwilling to delete back to something recognizable. The story was shelved and sent down to the locker. Time to time I still think about it and wonder about how I much I'd like to continue it. I long since decided to swallow my pride and simply cut out the portions of the story I did not like, I still have plenty of squatieness to delve into. So I wrote to Dave for his input and will take his advice - that being, restart from scratch with a new thread and rewrite.

This came up as I have gone and touched up some of the posts and rewritten over the parts I didn't care for on my writing blog. Which got me to thinking that my writing blog isn't really read by Warhammer players and maybe I should add it to Heresy. That and get over my foolish embarrassment. Without further ado....


Birth of a Living Ancestor (revised)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Before the Battle of Today

Prelude​

In the early days of 745M41, the Enemy came unannounced. It took the Homeworlds of the Dwarven Mining Consortium without mercy or pause. An unstoppable flood that struck the Squats, their homes, their stongholds with such ferocity that within weeks, the military force that had withstood alone the combined aggression's of Orks, Eldar, and the forces of Chaos, was swept from the halls of power and into the dustbins of history. There would be no more conflicts with the Eldar over the ancestral mining rights usurped from the dwarves by the greedy elder race. Grudge matches against the greenskins that every dwarven child dreamed of getting embroiled in. The end of blood feuds between the dwarves who fought with the Emperor and their craven cousins, the Chaos Dwarves. Yet dwarves go not quietly into the night. Though the darkness gathers, a candlelight is carried on. To light other candles? History and the Emperor will be the judge.

745M41, The Loss of Durnak

Three meters high, it towered over the hapless Squat warriors that bravely stood in defiance of its charge. Fire discipline was a thing long lost. Great scythes at the ends of its four arms flew with lightning precision and warriors fell, their corpses falling only to be kicked and scattered as if leaves being danced through by a child in the autumn. Missiles streaked harmlessly by while heavy bolter rounds seemed to unable to bring the beast down.

A battle cry, amplified by a speaker on a dwarven berserker's back, cut through the cacophony of explosions and bolter fire. Twenty-five strong, the band scurried towards the great beast. Twenty-five of the Brotherhood's craziest. Twenty-five of the strongest and best fighters, even if they were impossible to deal with after a battle, here in the thick of everything they could be counted upon to pull the Botherhood's fat out of the fire.

The behemoth turned to the screaming band and the music blaring out of their speakers. The crazy fools charged as fast as they could, the towering nightmare, while the few remaining warriors at its feet scurried away, each trying to flee and not get cut down by the incoming rounds of the thunderer squad that had been holding their flank. The berserkers did not share that caution and more than one fell as they ran through the fields of fire in an eager attempt to engage what no one had ever seen, let alone fought.

Veghard pulled his heavy bolter up. The berserkers were engaged. It was time to find a new target. A target of something. His squad was formed up in a line trying to stop the strange creature. It was something new, but everything in the Emperor damned battle was. Even their progress though the terrain was damned. They only went in one direction. Back and away from the enemy. Whatever the enemy was.

"Veg? What's the plan? Where do we go?" Dagmar the radioman looked to him. The lieutenant waited for his decision too. This mess they were in had no solution. Headquarters could not be relied upon. Several times in the past day they had been dispatched on orders only to be called back, repositioned to oppose an empty field, then sent on an emergency dispatch to supply reinforcement, and called off again.

The first time they engaged the enemy, flying creatures the size of men dropped from the sky. They had been cut down quickly enough, but the Sixty-sixth Gilbaldum Brotherhood had been sighted and the artillery had began to rain down. The Grand Battery of thudd guns and mole mortars took the brunt of the first attack. Undeployed, the odd sphere shaped charges of the enemy fell with devastating effect. They also learned that should a round fail to hit a living target, the round would float until an appropriate target came within reach and detonate then. Even more disturbing , the artillery seemed to be able to continue to sight in on the location of unexploded ordinance as it floated aimlessly around the battlefield. Even odder, as they tended the wounded, the exploding rounds weren't even made of metal. Many died as the medics could not identify the shrapnel with their battle kits and had to seek out it by sight and touch. The shrapnel seemed to consist of naught but bone and carapace.

Then the gene stealers came.

Those at least were known. Veghard had read about them. His family connections gave him some education the average citizen did not even know of. Things that could grant an all expenses paid visit to the Inquisitor. Gene stealers was one of those dark horrors that Veghard had found fascinating as a young boy reading through the Clan's library files. Knowing about them didn't save the rhino compliment that had been brought along to move the Brotherhood. Or the guild force, who had been awaiting orders when the attack began. Robbed of their speed and movement, half the force had been put down before they could get underway and rocket out of the killing field. The combat trikes took the least damage. The motorcycles of the other two platoons came away so heavily mauled, they were no longer viable units. Like the bikes, the Brotherhood would have run, but when the enemy covers ground twice as fast as you, retreat is not feasible.

Veghard was not an officer, but his clan and name were well known in the Brotherhood, and when he spoke, the captain and lieutenant both listened. The warlord who had been formulating a plan to pull back ordered a solid defense and though the gene stealers tore down some deployed robots, they were stopped. They had been stopped long enough for the Two Hundredth Iron Breaker Brotherhood to arrive in their Leviathan. As the battle was reviewed, the Two Hundredth had quite the fun needling the Sixty Sixth for needed a fully supported brotherhood reinforced by a full Guild Force to bring down thirty gene stealers, and still managing to lose half the force and their Grand Battery. Three companies, one with full support. It took some time for the officers to pull the berserkers apart once they began to brawl over the insults.

The void shields of the Leviathan fell quickly and the resulting crater devastated the warrior brotherhoods. One hundred squat warriors were almost wiped out when the enemy tanks arrived and destroyed the great Leviathan in two volleys. Strange creatures with gun protuberances growing out of their backs had come up on the two brotherhoods in the wake of the gene stealers. Supported by dog like infantry that fired spiked rounds a short distance, the mocking stopped as the Leviathan ceased to exist in a devastating explosion as the containment fields on the void generator failed.

Not all was lost. Veghard, along with his thunderer unit, berserkers and squads of brotherhood warriors turned and fled the battlefield. Veghard had the distinction of being the first to break and run. His flight saved the Brotherhood, but not much else. When their flight was done, Veghard could not explain his actions beyond his adamant denial of cowardice and an unshakable feeling of needing to head back to their deployment zone. A claim that would earn the average Imperial trooper a round from a Commissar, but was an acceptable defense in the Squat army. Dwarves, as a rule, do not run.

The day ended with the berserkers dragging down the great four armed creature. One of the berserkers activated a melta bomb, strapped it to his chest and played keep away until it detonated and stopped the rampaging beast. The long night was a forced march that saw the loss of more men and equipment. Dawn found the sad remains of the Sixty Sixth Brotherhood at the edge of the tarmac and being boarded onto a transport along with panicked civilians were rushed into the ships. As the ship shot up towards the safety of space, Veghard watched the undulating mass of the enemy flow over the space port behind them. The paltry forces the Sixty Sixth Brotherhood had engaged was less than a drop of rain compared against the ocean that made up the main body of the enemy.

Only one thing was relevant. This Homeworld was lost. Not Veghard's, but his would face the enemy too. It, like the other Squat Homeworlds would fall, unable to outrun, out-shoot, or outlast the onslaught. Veghard found himself again and again sitting in a seat, peering out the window as the Tyranid Hive consumed world after world. It began to feel as if the bugs sought Veghard out, for he would no sooner arrive at a new world and the Tyranids would be close behind. As each planet fell, Veghard could feel a rope tied to his insides tugging him from one massacre to another, always keeping him just out of reach of the enemy.

Until one day there were no more Tyranids. Only marines. When the fighting began again, it wasn't against the Tyrnaids , but instead a force of Eldar. An odd comfort, Veghard found, to be faced with an enemy so simple.

No battle is as simple as it seems.
 

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Hey, Treesnifer, this is a solid beginning to your revised story. There's a lot of potential here that I think you'll tap into ;). Though, I will say that I was a little confused who the factions were. I had forgotten you mentioned it was a squat story. At first I was thinking of Chaos Space Marines when you said Bezerkers, then Imperial Guard when you mentioned some of the troops. You don't really make a mention of squats until much later in your beginning. I would mention them earlier, imo:).

Overall, I really like it. Will be following:so_happy:.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Chapter the First: Scattered Clouds pt 1 of 5

Chapter The First
Scattered Clouds​

White Shield Abelard threw himself down into the dust and grime below the ragged remains of a stone wall, a sharp jab in his shoulder told of a sharp rock he had not seen while scrambling for cover. The report of shots fired and the resulting pinging of ricocheting shuriken let the panicked boy know how close he had been to being shot. Dust caked his mouth and nose and he huddled atop his lazrifle, panting into the ground. Explosions peppered the ground beyond his makeshift cover, and he waited for the ill fated round that would fall on the wrong side of the stacked stone fence that was his lone protection from the Eldar forces arrayed against him.

Forcing his eyes open, he fought to turn his head to the side, looking down the line of the low wall to see how much of his squad made the mad dash. The artillery barrage continued to fall, and Abelard knew it was just a matter of time before he would be under the guns of the bombards that were blindly firing into the coordinates they had been supplied. It had been the sick joke of a common problem back at the barracks, artillery that failed to stay within the proper firing coordinates and troopers dieing by friendly fire. It had been a mad dash across the short field. Mad and bloody, for Abelard watched the men ahead of him, as they charged together, get cut down by the withering fire coming from the Eldar in the tree line ahead. Looking down the wall Abelard could see that he was the only trooper on station at the wall.

A slap to the back of his head caused him to turn to look the other way. There in the dirt along side of him lay Sergeant Michael, Germain, Gregoria, and Damon. The lieutenant was speaking to him, but the concussion from the barrage was still ringing loudly in his ears, there was no sound but an eerie quiet that masked all other sounds. The order was clear though. They were not stopping at this shattered wall. They needed to continue as the barrage tapered off. He was a moment slower than his fellows nearer the center of their platoon and again he was the helpless observer of death as those first brave souls made their last vault over the stones that made up the low wall that sheltered them from the barrage. The lieutenant reached back and grabbed Abelard by his webgear, dragged him out of his stupor and over the stones. Thrusting the boy ahead of him, White Shield Abelard stumbled forward, blindly following his fellows, mouthing prayers of protection to the Emperor that He ward him from the deadly rain of shuriken fire, or at least make sure there were far more guardsmen than Eldar. That and hoping the lieutenant did not shoot him for not being fast enough.

Of all his prayers, he realized as he suddenly found himself flung like an unwanted toy, he forgot to pray for protection from the bombards. With the world spinning crazily, it seemed even the ground reached up to hit him too. Blood was on his hand as he fruitlessly mopped at the side of his head, thinking it was sweat, and a fuzzy realization occurred to him that his helmet was missing too. His arms shook as he tried to lift himself up. Another helmet presented itself to him and as he prepared to put it on his head, in the band he read its previous owner's name; George.

Abelard continued to blindly crawl through the rubble and debris kicked up by the bombard’s barrages. His face was streaked from his tears and the grime of the battlefield. His lazgun was lost, as were his companions. The withering fire of the Eldar wiped out their charge and his companions after splitting him from his troop. Shame and fear were all that kept his body moving. Fear of the Eldar warred within him with the fear that one of the commissars who patrolled the army seeking bad behavior to make examples of would find him and shamed by his cowardice, for he never even fired a shot once from his missing lazgun.

His shaking hands dragged him around great boulders tossed into the air by the massive explosions that continued to pound the ground all about him. Abelard tried to think which way he was supposed to be moving, as well as how he lost his rifle. His last thought was a panicked blur of watching the fastest of his platoon getting cut down by their hidden enemy and a confused view of sky as the concussion of an nearby blast knocked him down. Now he was alone, unarmed, and lost. The One Seventy Seventh in their tan and black were reduced in number to a single white shield who was almost too terrified to even keep moving.
 

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Good update, Treesnifer, I like your portrayal of the eldar. An elite force capable of hitting hard and mercilessly. So just to clarify, this update focuses on Imperial Guard? Also, there was one sentence that confused me, something about Abelard moving around boulders flying into the air by artillery barrages. But then I looked again and see you must have fixed it, because I cannot seem to find it.

In any case, good work:victory:.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chapter the First: Scattered Clouds pt 2 of 5

Worming his way along the lip of yet another blast crater, he cried out in alarm as a strong hand reached out from behind him and hauled him away from the crater he was attempting to slide into. Abelard was tossed unceremoniously onto his back and found himself staring not at one of the elder, but a man. Abelard continued to whimper as he attempted to crab away from the newcomer. Still mostly deaf from his advance through the artillery barrage, he realized he must be making more noise than he thought, for the man who dragged Abelard into the small defile first clamped a hand of stone over Abelard’s leg, dragging Abelard again to his side and then clamping a gloved hand over his mouth. Bright spots of pain blossomed in Abelard’s teeth and jaw brought on by the punishing grip of his captor.

“Quiet!” though seeming far away, the command and glare that followed it pinned Abelard like a mouse beneath a cat’s paw. After ascertaining Abelard’s compliance, the other peeked around the rim of the debris that formed a tiny battlement. With one hand, the stranger reached over and with a grunt threw a heavy bolter onto his shoulder, and with a practiced hand reset the ammo clip and thumbed off the safety.

As he lay in the mud, Abelard began to regain his senses. The crushing fear receded, and Abelard found himself staring in shock at his savior. Though his uniform was of the tan and black of the One Seventy Seventh and he sported the crossed rifles of Abelard’s company, a third regiment patch was stitched below that. It was a hammer trailing a stream of fire over a green field, with the patch’s rim in silver. Several service hash marks covered the left sleeve, out of compliance with field regulations, but Abelard was unable to count them as he suddenly cringed under a shower of hot brass when the bolter opened fire.

“Veghard. Sixty-First Detatched Thunderers. Get out of my way.”

Veghard shuffled to the other side of the rock he had fired past. He kicked Abelard when he didn’t move fast enough and then bracing himself, fired several quick bursts. White teeth flashed though a coal black beard that was fuller and more meticulously groomed than an officer’s doxy as Veghard grinned down at Abelard. The short stump of an unlit cigar waggled its way from one side of Veghard’s mouth to the other.

Blazoned on the front of his blouse was his name tag, Veghard. An unknown chevron pattern at his lapel gave testimony of some rank beyond Abelard’s own White Shield. Thick gloves the widened out at the wrists covered his hands, but the bit of skin that peeked around the thick beard and from below the strangely billed combat helmet was pale. Arms as thick as Abelard’s legs held the heavy bolter, while legs near as thick as two of his own didn’t show the least bit of strain as Veghard moved back and forth now that Abelard was out of his way. A backpack, a non-reg modified piece of equipment, looked to be packed near to bursting with special pockets holding additional ammo clips. An odd looking lasgun was stowed along the side, within reach of Veghard’s free hand.

Scrambling to his feet, Abelard looked down at Veghard. With the heavy bolter on his shoulder, Veghard came up to Abelard’s chin, and Abelard was far from being the tallest in his platoon. Without the heavy weapon, Veghard would be hard pressed to be much over four and a half feet. Abelard began to giggle at the funny sight of Veghard’s diminutive height wielding a weapon that Abelard would barely be able to carry, let alone fire when a hand shot out into his gut, doubling him over. The loud report of the bolter accompanied by the musical chiming of the falling brass caused him to flatten himself to the ground while he tried to recapture the breath that Veghard had knocked from him.

“Time to move, boy”, Veghard reached down and pulled Abelard up to his knees as he gagged for breath. “On your feet! Shake it off!”

Another two bursts rang out and then Veghard scrambled out of the defile and onto the stretch of ground Abelard had been crawling along.

“On my six, boy. I’d give you a weapon, but I don’t want to lose Gracie quite yet. Keep up, or them scorpions will get you” Veghard laughed as he trotted off.

Veghard began to lope through the debris as if he had some destination in mind, seemingly to be oblivious that somewhere hidden in the tree line hid elder sharpshooters. After a moment’s hesitation, Abelard hurried after Veghard, easily outpacing the smaller man, only to be roughly grabbed and tossed to the ground.

“Keep your head down, or you’ll lose it, boy”, was all the gruff voice had to offer in apology.

“You’re one of them stunties!” blurted Abelard. “Aren’t all of you dead?”

He gulped at the sharp glare that was leveled at him, making him feel more exposed than he had a moment earlier. He waited for some retort or fist to add weight to the glare, but none came. Instead, Veghard turned from him and was looking along the lower portion of a slope Abelard remembered running over earlier in the day.

“Your artillery squads need a lot more training, I though White Shields weren’t used to man auxiliary units. They’ve messed up the lines of this battle” Veghard grumbled, and turned an ear to the sound of several distant explosions. “There they are.”

“Move out, boy.”

Without a glance back to see if Abelard was following, Veghard set off below the crest of the slope with a ground eating trot.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good update, Treesnifer, I like your portrayal of the eldar. An elite force capable of hitting hard and mercilessly. So just to clarify, this update focuses on Imperial Guard? Also, there was one sentence that confused me, something about Abelard moving around boulders flying into the air by artillery barrages. But then I looked again and see you must have fixed it, because I cannot seem to find it
Yep. A failed combined operation against the Eldar. And the rocks will settle to the earth as Abelard matures from a raw recruit into a guardsman. Of course, these are the opening moves of this battle and the war is far from won. At this point in history, there are no more Homeworlds, Hive Fleet Behemoth was defeated, and the remaining squat military units have been absorbed into the main body of the I.G. A vassal race just like rest of the abhumans that fill in the niches in the forces of the Emperor, autonomous allies no longer.
 

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Hey there!

I just really had to say that I really enjoyed your last bit. I have already grown to like Veghard!

It's my kind of story, when it is violent and funny at the same time!

Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see the next part!
 

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Good update, Verghard seems an interesting character. Hopefully, he'll be around for a while ;).
 

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One thing I forgot to ask. It seems like Verghard says 'boy' after ending a sentence and awful lot. Was this your intention?

If not, just be careful about repeating yourself too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One thing I forgot to ask. It seems like Verghard says 'boy' after ending a sentence and awful lot. Was this your intention?

If not, just be careful about repeating yourself too much.
Thank you for the warning, but yes, it is there intentionally. Veghard does lighten up a bit on Abelard, but right now Abelard is just a fresh recruit and the 'Boy' is supposed to be a denigrating comment meant to motivate Abe to be more than just a frightened boy and act like a man. Just think Drill Sargent.
 

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Thank you for the warning, but yes, it is there intentionally. Veghard does lighten up a bit on Abelard, but right now Abelard is just a fresh recruit and the 'Boy' is supposed to be a denigrating comment meant to motivate Abe to be more than just a frightened boy and act like a man. Just think Drill Sargent.
Hah. I know drill sergeant all too well.

Can't wait to see the next update!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Chapter the First: Scattered Clouds Pt 3 of 5

As Veghard and Abelard began to move out, not far away a lone warrior was running a race of his own. His armor declared him a space marine of the Ultramarines. The signature color of his armor was blasted away in several places by enemy fire, and though he moved with strength and purpose, obvious battle damage gave testimony that the marine had not arrived unscathed. Running a zigzag pattern, the marine would stop, scan the area around him. Occasionally stooping to examine the ground, and then take off running again. His posture alert and his weapon ready, the marine hunted.

His name was Novarius and he was not a happy man. His squad had been decimated, leaving only him to carry out their mission. The support that had been expected by the guard units had vanished like the dew of the hot mornings on the world they were attempting to defend. The eldar force that had somehow moved onto the world was far greater than Novarius had ever engaged and after a run in against a squad of warp spiders, Novarius found himself alone and deep within enemy territory.

Again, he tapped his helmet. The vicious mono filament strands fired into his squad without warning had damaged his armor, though it had kept him alive. His battle brothers were not so successful at dropping to cover. The warp spiders had appeared and then disappeared, without returning, giving Novarius the indication that the attack had been an attack of opportunity while they were moving elsewhere. Whatever damage had been sustained by his armor, vox and satellite data were both knocked out. He still had the basic tactical data along with his inertial locator detailing where he and his squad had originated from. Doctrine stipulated that he advance, following his inertial locator, until arriving at the deployment zone or he reestablished vox communications, but as he had recovered from the Eldar ambush, the Guard’s artillery began saturating the area that his return path indicated.

The blue of his armor, newly scored by the incoming fire of the vanished aspect troops, still shined bright. The shoulder pauldrons still proudly bore the golden U of the Ultramarines. His bolter clacked as he installed a fresh clip, and after taking a moment to orient himself, Novarius began to move out. The barrage pattern would move over his immediate area and he had no desire to attempt to sit though an artillery barrage fired by his own support. Unable to properly apply battle doctrine, Novarius moved through the forest, attempting to follow the direction the warp spiders had seem to vanish towards.
Moving through the underbrush, Novarius’s progress was masked with the sound of artillery and small arms fire. He had successfully made his way out of the barrage pattern and he had managed to orient himself matching terrain to what was left of his tactical information. He found himself wishing for a tech marine for having only the silence of his thoughts as he made his way through the battle disconcerting, even a scout would be good company. Never in a battle had he been without any vox communication of any kind. Moving around a tight copse of wood, Novarius found himself facing the back of six eldar guardians as they lay suppression fire down before their position.

The report of his bolter echoed in his ears and it jerked and leapt as he began firing into the rear of the guardian squad that seemed to be firing out of the forest at a Guard unit. Two of the elder fell under his first salvo while the other four suddenly looked about for where the shots emanated from. Grinning under his helmet, Novarius turned his fire on the fasted of those remaining. More shots rang out as the hapless guardian jerked and fell back, his armor unable to fend off the multiple hits from Novarius.

Shuriken whizzing by his head, the last three guardians brought their catapults to bear on the advancing marine. Several ricocheted off his shoulder and legs, while a scant few managed to stick in his chest but were unable to penetrate through. Novarius continued to fire down on the guardians, but their armor was able to deflect the lethal fire of his bolter when, without warning, one of the guardians suddenly burst into a bloody fine mist as the rounds of a heavy bolter ripped through his armor. Another burst followed the first, demolishing a tree next to Novarius, causing him to seek his own cover and a third burst that spun another guardian to the ground. The last eldar, a woman, reached down to grab her wounded partner and began to drag him away. More bursts cut through the foliage seeking the fleeing eldar and kept Novarius down, but fired blindly they were more of a danger to the marine than the retreating eldar.

The heavy bolter fire ceased, and Novarius felt it was safe to get back to his feet. Bringing his bolter up, he gave chase to the remaining two eldar. They had not even escaped his sight, as he trotted up the trail behind them. The woman continued to try and pull her injured compatriot even as Novarius closed on them. Mercilessly he raised his weapon and relished in its kicking strength.

“Xenos scum. Feel the Emperor’s wrath!”

Novarius slapped a new magazine into the receiver of his bolter. Today he was not only unable to save his battle brothers, but he was almost cut down by friendly fire and rather than an entire squad detailed to the objective, there was only himself. Doctrine dictated he reestablish communication and contact, but without vox and hemmed in with misapplied artillery barrages, he would be hard pressed to accomplish either and that would mean a reprimand or even demotion. Novarius was not a happy man.
 

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Quite entertaining. Some minor details that I would change.

The biggest one that I notice is that a trained soldier would never call a magazine a 'clip', so just be careful of your wording.

Other than that, it was a really fun read! Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Quite entertaining. Some minor details that I would change.

The biggest one that I notice is that a trained soldier would never call a magazine a 'clip', so just be careful of your wording.

Other than that, it was a really fun read! Keep it up!
At thirty years out of the military, and that at the end of the peaceful years, I'll admit to my knowledge being pretty rusty. :grin: I went back through and found a typo (and I can't find it now. bah!), a double punctuation, and definitely a description change. Pretty bad for a piece that has been rewritten and proofed at least four times. :blush:

Any faults you come across, don't hesitate to point out. When the money is good, I keep a membership to The Writers Village where it is incumbent that everyone in each class give feedback to each other, so I am used to blind spots being pointed out to me. Anything I like will be followed! In this instance, clip was used to avoid magazine being repeated too quickly. :)

Actually, if anyone would like a glimpse into how The Village works, there is a free introductory class that starts twice a year - one being in just a couple weeks - August 26th. F2K3 is a 7 week course, each week's lesson is run by a mentor and all work is graded by peer review. After I took the F2K class a few years back, my writing improved quite a bit and I would suggest that if anyone has the time, sign up for the class. I found the class worth it.
 

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Very nice update, Novarius seems down on his luck, haha:p. Also, the Writer's Village looks interesting. I may have a look into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Chapter the First: Scattered Clouds pt 4 of 5

Moving with his accustomed purposeful stride, Novarius moved swiftly along the tree line as he attempted to ascertain if the Warp Spiders who ambushed him had indeed traveled in this direction. The lack of tracks or signs of passage frustrated him, and in his heart he knew lacking more marines he was more likely to miss the necessary egress points the Warp Spiders had to use. If speed had not been their need perhaps he would have found some sign of their passage, but their attack and failure to follow up upon it pointed to an urgent need for speed. A flicker of movement caught his eye and his bolter came up to face the danger even as he turned to identify the disturbance.

Beyond the sparse edge of the woods he moved through was the blasted field that had been pounded by the bombard company far back in the distance. Next to an uprooted boulder stood two men, an Imperial Guardsman and a Squat Warrior bearing a heavy bolter. The guardsman was oblivious to Novarius’s presence and location, but the squat looked right at him and sent a nod and sketched a quick salute to him. Once he had done that, he tugged on the guardsman and began to trot along the tree line, though it was soon obvious the two would cross under the trees another few hundred feet away.

Without conscious thought, Novarius abandoned his hopeless attempt to follow the Warp Spiders and began to run an intercept course that would meet him up with the squat and the guardsman. It mattered not if the two had any communications as his forming up with the unlikely pair would begin to satisfy his requirement to reestablish contact with Imperial forces. He continued to scan deeper in the wood as well as ahead of him. The sudden lack of enemy was maddening. The short, deadly attack on his battle brothers had brought up his anger, and his own ambush of the small Guardian squad did little to appease him. Novarius found himself fearing that even with the distant sound of combat that was obviously drawing the other two soldiers towards it, the eldar were long gone. That they had achieved their goal on this flank and had reduced the advancing Imperials to two guardsmen and a single marine.

It was without incident that the three met together at the blasted edge of the wood. Abelard had not even seen the marine until Novarius stopped beside them. Abelard was bent over at the waist with his hands supporting him by bracing his knees. The heavy footfalls of the marine caused him to look up in surprise and almost caused the young man to faint in shock.

“Veghard. Sixty-First Detached Thunderers.”
“Novarius, Fifth Company”

Veghard looked at Abelard who was shocked to be faced with a space marine. Though the marines were not commonly encountered by the average guardsman, many dreamed of getting to meet them. When Abelard still did not speak, Veghard did for him.

“This is Abelard, One Seventy Seventh, White Shields.”

Novarius looked the panting, sweating White Shield over. No backpack, no weapon, no obvious wounds. It all added up to either a deserter or coward. It also explained why he and his battle brothers had not received the support they had been told to expect. If they had known that it was a White Shield force, they would have had more battle brothers accompany them on the mission. White Shields were to prepare an enemy position for attack, not support Astartes in straight up combat. Remorselessly he raised his bolter. This Abelard would pay for his failure now.

Veghard, the squat, batted Novarius’s arm with one of his gloved hands. Novarious found himself battling with being either shocked or angered by the intervention. He had never been touched by anyone who wasn’t a space marine. Within his helmet, he glared down at the abhuman. He could not help but wonder if both of them were not traitors and were trying to desert. With the evidence of Veghard’s attack on the Guardians, Novarious was at odds with himself on whether he should administer the Emperor’s Justice on the two of them or not. Veghard’s gruff voice interrupted his internal debate.

“You don’t want to do that, son. We’ll be needing him soon enough.”

There was no fear in the squat’s face, only an implacable glint in his eye that actually gave Novarious pause, a reaction that gave him a start when he realized that Veghard could elicit such a response from him. Veghard continued to steadily regard him, until something in his body language satisfied the squat and Vegard turned from him. While doing so, Veghard reached to the lasgun that was stowed on the side of his backpack. A quick tug pulled the weapon from its stowed position and he offered it to Abelard.

“This is Gracie”, Veghard said to Abelard. “She’ll do you right if you remember a couple things. One. She’s not your standard issue. She’s my work. So if you’re rough, she won’t fire for you.”

As Abelard took possession of the weapon, Veghard’s hand continued to caress the lasgun as he explained the modifications done.

“Two. Her range is better than that excuse you called a firearm. Use the scope for anything beyond a block or two. Three. She’ll get warm to the touch, so don’t panic. Finally, she cycles faster that what you’re used to. Which means that I don’t want you to waste energy spraying like you were shown in training.”, Veghard explained what he had done to the lasgun, and finished with a cold tone that caused the boy’s face to pale and send a shiver of remembrance down Novarious’s spine.

“You will not lose Gracie. You will not hurt Gracie. You will tend her before you care for yourself. If she touches dirt or water, you will be punished for it and if you do lose her, she will be the last thing you lose. She is your wife now, so treat her as such, but I am still her father and I reserve a father’s right to protect his daughter. Do you understand me?”

While the trooper nodded vigorously, Novarious could hear the echo of the training cadre officers drilling weapon care into him and his fellow aspirants and the punishments dealt to those who failed to maintain weapon discipline and care.
 

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Originally Posted by Treesnifer View Post

clip was used to avoid magazine being repeated too quickly.

I'm glad you said this. You wouldn't believe how many people don't know that this is a bad thing.
Huh, you learn something new everyday :wink:.

I don't have much criticism to give in this update, there's nothing that really stands out to me. Something does tell me, though, that Abelard has crossed onto a path that he can not turn away from :).
 
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